The graphic photo shows the 7-month old fetus lying dead on the table next to its Mother, in a hospital in the central Chinese province of Shaanxi.
Human rights groups say that Feng was due to pay a hefty US$ 6270 fine as a result of breaking the ‘one-child’ law. But on refusal, Zhenping authorities are alleged to have forced her to abort her baby.
One forum user accused the family planning policy of, “openly killing people for years in the name of national policy.” Some were calling for the officials to be executed.
The widespread shock caused by the photo may force the government to finally reconsider its family planning policy.
The ‘one-child’ policy, or family planning policy, was originally introduced in the 1970s in an attempt to improve China’s economic situation by suppressing its rapidly growing population. Even so, it is still the world’s most populous country, numbering at 1.3 billion people.
Though commonly known as the ‘one-child’ policy, this aspect only applies to those in urban areas. Rural families are supposedly allowed two children, provided their first child is disabled or female. The policy also doesn’t apply to national minority families.
But a gender preference for male babies, and large fines for breaking the ‘one-child’ policy mean that many female babies are still killed before and after birth. A research by TrustLaw estimated the number of girls dead or ‘missing at birth’ to be 1.09 million in 2008 alone.
It has also contributed to China’s ageing population and huge generation gap, meaning that some people are burdened with the care of not only their parents but their grandparents too.
8 years after the Chinese government decided to stop rewarding childless couples in Shanghai, forced abortions and infanticide are still rife in other parts of the country.
If the policy continues as it is, the nation’s dwindling work force won’t be able to uphold the country’s booming economic growth, as the fertility rate continues to plummet.
Further research by TrustLaw has ranked China as one of the worst countries to be a woman out of the world’s most prosperous countries. Gender discrimination has led China to have such a disproportionate male-to-female ratio that in some villages there is 100 women to every 130 men. This means that 19 men will be left unmarried.
Chinese state media has said that by 2020, there will be 24 million men in China who will be unable to marry due to the absence of women. This will lead to the continuation of the already flourishing trafficking trade in women, says the National Population and Family Planning Commission.
Some even theorise that such a large number of unmarried men, who are also frustrated by economic hardship and unemployment, could result in mass testosterone-fuelled violence.